Sai Kandula charged in White House U-Haul truck crash, had Nazi flag
A Missouri man with a Nazi flag had been planning for months to ‘seize power’ and kill the president before authorities said he crashed a U-Haul truck into security gates near the White House on Monday , according to recently released court documents.
Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri, told Secret Service agents he flew to Washington, DC from a suburb of St. Louis one way after six months of planning.
He wanted to “go to the White House, take power and be in charge of the nation”, according to charging documents. He also said he would “kill the president, if that’s what I have to do,” documents say.
On Monday night, Kandula rented a U-Haul truck, drove to the White House, crashed into a security barrier near the north side of Lafayette Square, and waved around a Nazi flag he had pulled from a backpack, according to documents.
Kandula told police he brought the flag because “the Nazis have a great history” and admired their “authoritarian nature, eugenics and unique world order,” according to court documents.
He was quickly arrested by United States Park Police on multiple counts and prosecutors charged him with damaging American property.
More:Driver accused of threatening president after crashing U-Haul truck into White House gates
There were no injuries or continuing danger, and no explosives or weapons were found in the truck or in Kandula, authorities said.
There were no red flags on Kandula’s vehicle rental record that would have prevented him from being able to rent a U-Haul, the company said. Kandula leased the truck in Herndon, Va., and had a valid contract in his name, according to the company.
Chris Zaboji, 25, said he saw a driver hit the barrier at least twice. He used his phone to record the truck hitting the barrier for the second time.
“When the van backed up and hit it again, I decided I wanted to get out of there,” he said.
Video from WUSA-TV shows a police officer at the scene inventorying several pieces of evidence from the truck, including a Nazi flag. Reuters news agency also published an image of a red Nazi flag with a swastika laid on the ground by the U-Haul truck, along with other evidence.
President Joe Biden was briefed on the crash Tuesday morning, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“He’s relieved no one was hurt last night,” she said.
Contribute: The Associated Press